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Dinner at Nat's kicked off draftees Freo intro

Watch what the draftees got up to on their first day. Watch what the draftees got up to on their first day

It hasn’t taken long for a bumper crop of eight draftees from Friday night’s NAB AFL National Draft to get acquainted at Freo.

The group consists of two picks from the top five in midfielders Andrew Brayshaw and Adam Cerra joining fellow midfielders Mitch Crowden and Tom North, forwards Hugh Dixon and Sam Switkowski, and ruckmen Lloyd Meek and Scott Jones.

They first came together for dinner with Freo’s leadership group at Nat Fyfe’s house on Sunday night before their first day at the club on Monday, with a number of meetings and medical screenings split by a marathon one hour media conference and photo shoot.

General manager of list management Brad Lloyd introduced the players to the media, saying the new faces added to the excitement growing around the club’s next generation.

Fremantle is expected to take a further two players at Monday’s NAB AFL Rookie Draft, seeing the club’s 2017 draft haul increase to 10.

“At the end of today’s rookie draft, we’ll have 22 players which will be new to the club in the past two off-seasons," Lloyd said.

“That’s six via trade and 16 via the draft – three of them being top-10 picks.

“Just being in the room this morning and seeing all of these new faces, it’s a really exciting time for the footy club and its future.”

A common link between Freo’s 2017 draftees was their apparent strength and physical development, with many in the group capable of pushing for selection in 2018.

“There’s no doubt in this group, there’s some really strong bodies with a bit of power, some good ball users and some good developed bodies,” Lloyd said.

“It’s probably (due to) the position of our selections, there’s a fair few inside mids in there as opposed to the half-forward, half-back types.

“There’s a fair bit of power and aggression in the group, so it gives them a chance to play this year.”

Andrew Brayshaw (pick no.2)
On his family ties in WA – “Mum and dad’s side are both from WA, I’ve got grandparents in Albany, an uncle and auntie in Busselton and a lot scattered around Perth. I think that’s going to make the transition pretty smooth and with that, comes a lot of family friends as well. I’ve got lots of people here and lots of people supporting me so it’s good.”

On the expectations of being pick no.2 – “It’s very humbling and I guess it’s an honour to be talked about as a potential (star) player. At the end of the day, I haven’t played a game and it’s my first day at the club, so I’m definitely going to try and learn off all of the players and, hopefully, have a good year.”

Adam Cerra (pick no.5)
On living with Lachie Neale – “I met Lachie yesterday and I’m staying at his house for a couple weeks. He’s really taken me under his wing, he’s showing me the ropes. This morning we went for a swim at the beach at 6am. Apparently, he does that every morning, so I’m trying to do the things that he does and learn off him as much as possible. He’s been a great help and he’s been really welcoming.

On being drafted to Freo alongside fellow Eastern Ranges player, Tom North – “It’s great, I’ve been playing with Tommy since we were both 13 years of age and we’ve been playing together at the TAC Cup with the Eastern Ranges. We’ve been working alongside each other for a while now and I’m rapt to be moving over the WA with him. It will make it a lot easier and I can’t wait to get stuck in it with him.”

Hugh Dixon (pick no.44)
On joining fellow Tasmanians Alex Pearce and Brady Grey at Freo – “Alex Pearce is a Tassie boy and he was the first bloke to send me through a message on draft night after my name got called. At the moment I’m living with Brady Grey and he’s another Tassie boy as well. It’s awesome, they’re really showing me the ropes.”

Mitch Crowden (pick no.59)
On looking up to fellow South Aussie Lachie Neale – “He’s a similar height to me and from SA. He’s someone who’s good to aspire to. I’ve got to look at what he does at training and it all starts from there. There’s a lot of smaller players in the AFL making names for themselves, now I have to make my own name for myself and it all starts at training. I’m looking forward to it”

Tom North (pick no.65)
On his black belt in karate – “I started karate around when I started footy and I’ve done it for 10 years. It’s something that I love doing. It helps out a lot with balance, discipline and it’s massive for my footy.”

On joining Adam Cerra at Freo – “I couldn’t be happier to be moving over with him. I was so happy for Adam to be picked up in the top 10. Adam’s a superstar, he’s a very good player. He’s going to work hard, like myself, we’ll both work hard and see where it takes us.

Lloyd Meek (pick no. 69)
On coming up against Sean Darcy while playing for the Greater Western Victoria Rebels – “Sean’s from the Geelong Flacons, who are a bit of a rival to us Rebels. We’ve had a few good matches and I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to play with him through the Vic Country program. I plan to be an absolute sponge in my first year and I’m going to learn as much as I can and that includes off Sean and obviously, Aaron Sandilands. I can’t wait to get stuck into it.

Sam Switkowski (pick no.73)
On being chosen to join the Box Hill Hawks leadership group at 20-years-old – “I’m big on setting standards. I think that’s something that my teammates at Box Hill really noticed and I gained a lot of respect for that. I also think setting a good culture at a football club is really important as well, doing the right things on and off the field and sharing our footy knowledge as well.

Scott Jones (pick no.75)
On not giving up after initially missing being drafted – “To be honest, there were some tough times. I remember in 2015 in round one I was thinking ‘what am I still doing here’ but thankfully, (then East Perth reserves coach) Adam Pickering really kicked my butt into gear and it re-ignited the flame and the passion came back and I started enjoying my footy again. This season’s been the best year of my life. I’ve enjoyed it that much that every weekend. I’ve been anticipating games and loving every second of it.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs